Easter is hugely celebrated in ever town and city in Spain and plays a big part in the fiesta’s calendar. “Semana Santa” (Holy week) starts on Palm Sunday and continues through until Easter Sunday. There is generally a mass every day and large processions through the streets. In smaller towns, the processions are normally on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sumday, however, in the larger cities such as Malaga and Seville, there are processions every day of Semana Santa.
Easter in Spain, is a spectacle to behold…you have to see it. The parades are solemn yet emotional and enlightening. A common feature is the robes worn by the participants in the processions. This garment consists in a tunic, a hood with conical tip used to conceal the face of the wearer, and sometimes a cloak. The exact colors and forms of these robes depend on the particular procession and the area.
The most dramatic and solemn processions take place on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Statues of Christ on huge ornate “tronos” (floats or thrones) some weighing more than 5.000 kilos are carried by members of the town’s church brotherhood through the streets , followed by women in black carrying candles. Drums and trumpets play solemn music to accompany the parade. The parade on Good Friday is generally performed at midnight, in strict silence where only the solemn beat of the lone drum to be heard. Ìt is considered a great honour to be chosen as one of the bearers of the statue.
Easter Sunday brings a much more joyous processions, celebrating Christ rising again. Following an Easter Sunday mass, Statues of both Christ and the Virgin Mary are carried from the church by the brotherhood but this time, no hoods are worn. The congregation, joined by residents of the town follow the procession through the town’s streets to a central meeting point, normally the main street or square of the town.
Easter eggs are not traditionally given in Spain, although following the es-pat influence, you can generally find Easter Bunnies, and eggs in most supermarkets nowadays, (although I’m not quite sure where chocolate ladybirds come into it..saw these in Lidl!!)
So, if you are in Spain over Easter, make sure you catch at least one of the processions, you won’t be disappointed.